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Parsha Terumah

Parsha Terumah
(Exodus 25:1-27:19)

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."

Putting these two verses together, we understand that to love God is to serve Him and to serve Him is to love Him. The verse from Deuteronomy (6:5) teaches us a lesson (mentioned in one of our previous parsha commentaries) that God has given us the ability to know, serve (and love) Him, using our emotions ("heart"), minds ("soul") and actions/possessions ("might").


Speak to the Children of Israel, that they should take to Me a terumah ("uplifting") (Exodus 25:2)

Every created entity has a spark of G-dliness within it, a pinpoint of divinity that constitutes its "soul", its spiritual function and design. When we utilize something to serve the Creator, we penetrates its shell of mundanity, revealing and realizing its divine essence. Thus we elevate these "sparks", reuniting them with their Source.

(The Chassidic Masters)

Gold, silver, and copper... (25:3-7)

The materials donated for the Mishkan correspond to the components of the human being. "Gold" is the soul; "silver," the body; "copper," the voice; "blue," the veins; "purple," the flesh; "red," the blood; "flax," the intestines; "goat hair," the hair; "ram skins dyed red," the skin of the face; "tachash skins," the scalp; "shittim wood," the bones; "oil for lighting," the eyes; "spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense," the nose, mouth and palate; "shoham stones and gemstones for setting," the kidneys and the heart.

Rabbi Shmuel said: The materials donated for the Mishkan correspond to the heavens. "Gold" is the sun; "silver," the moon; "copper," the western horizon at sunset; "blue," the sky; "purple," the clouds; "red," the rainbow; "flax," the seraphim; "goat," the constellation of capricorn; "ram skins dyed red," thunder; "tachash skins," lightening; "shittim wood," shooting stars; "oil for lighting," the seven planets; "spices for the anointing oil and for the incense," dew and rain; "shoham stones and gemstones for setting"--hail and snow. Said G-d: "My dwelling is in the heavens; if you make Me a Sanctuary on earth, I shall dwell in it."

(Midrash HaGadol)

The Mishkan is the equivalent of the universe.

Regarding the work of the first day of creation, it says, "He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain" (Psalms 104:2). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, "And you shall make curtains of goat's hair for a tent over the Tabernacle" (Exodus 26:7).

Regarding the work of the second day of creation, it says, "Let there be a firmament... and let it divide between the waters and the waters" (Genesis 1:6). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, "And the veil shall divide for you between the Holy and the Holy of Holies" (Exodus 26:33).

Regarding the work of the third day of creation, it says, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together" (Genesis 1:9). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, "And you shall make a copper basin, and the base thereof of copper, for washing" (Exodus 30: 18).

Regarding the work of the fourth day of creation, it says, "Let there be luminaries in the heavens" (Genesis 1:14). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, "And you shall make a Menorah of pure gold" (Exodus 25:31).

Regarding the work of the fifth day of creation, it says, "Let fowl fly above the earth" (Gen. 1:20). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, "The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward" (Exodus 25:20).

On the sixth day man was created [to inhabit and cultivate the earth]. Regarding the Mishkan, G-d says to Moses, "Bring near Aaron your brother [to perform the service in the Sanctuary]" (Exodus. 28:1).

Of the seventh day we have it written, "And the heaven and the earth were completed... And G-d completed His work... and G-d blessed... and G-d sanctified... " (Genesis 2:1-3). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says: "Thus was completed all the work of the Tabernacle... And Moses blessed them... And it came to pass on the day that Moses completed the Tabernacle... and sanctified it" (Exodus 39:32-43; Numbers 7:1).

(Midrash Rabbah)


They shall make for Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell amidst them (25:8)

There was once a king who had an only daughter, and one of the kings came and married her. When her husband wished to return to his country, her father said to him: "My daughter, whose hand I have given you, is my only child; I cannot part with her. Neither can I say to you, 'Do not take her,' for she is your wife. This one favor, however, I ask of you: wherever you go to live, prepare a chamber for me that I may dwell with you, for I cannot leave my daughter."

In the same way, G-d said to Israel: "I have given you the Torah. I cannot part with her, and I also cannot tell you not to take her. But this I request of you: wherever you go, make for Me a house wherein I may dwell."
 

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